Business

U.S. Economy: Has an Era of Increased Productivity Returned?
Business

U.S. Economy: Has an Era of Increased Productivity Returned?

The last time the American economy was posting surprising economic growth numbers amid rapid wage gains and moderating inflation, Ace of Base and All-4-One topped the Billboard charts and denim overalls were in vogue.Thirty years ago, officials at the Federal Reserve were hotly debating whether the economy could continue to chug along so vigorously without spurring a pickup in inflation. And back in 1994, it turned out that it could, thanks to one key ingredient: productivity.Now, official productivity data are showing a big pickup for the first time in years. The data have been volatile since the start of the pandemic, but with the dawn of new technologies like artificial intelligence and the embrace of hybrid work setups, some economists are asking whether the recent gains might be real ...
Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Has Fallen Out of Favor
Business

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Has Fallen Out of Favor

By Matt RichtelReported from ice-cream shops and frozen-food aisles in Boulder, Colo.Feb. 15, 2024Banana pudding, chocolate fudge brownie, salted caramel, Cherry Garcia, Dr Pepper Float and dozens of other flavors packed the ice-cream freezer at a local Safeway. Robin Sawyer, one recent Sunday afternoon, hunted for her personal favorite, black raspberry chocolate chunk.Her husband, Mark, 68, has long been a fan of chocolate chip, but he doesn’t see it around much anymore.“Here it is!” Ms. Sawyer, 66, said to him, kneeling in front of the Haagen-Dazs section. “In the small container.” Then she corrected herself: “Oh, that’s chocolate chocolate chip.”Vanilla chocolate chip ice cream, once a staple of the ice cream world and one of the top sellers of all time, has fallen out of favor. The fla...
The Great Compression – The New York Times
Business

The Great Compression – The New York Times

Robert Lanter lives in a 600-square-foot house that can be traversed in five seconds and vacuumed from a single outlet. He doesn’t have a coffee table in the living room because it would obstruct the front door. When relatives come to visit, Mr. Lanter says jokingly, but only partly, they have to tour one at time.Each of these details amounts to something bigger, for Mr. Lanter’s life and the U.S. housing market: a house under $300,000, something increasingly hard to find. That price allowed Mr. Lanter, a 63-year-old retired nurse, to buy a new single-family home in a subdivision in Redmond, Ore., about 30 minutes outside Bend, where he is from and which is, along with its surrounding area, one of Oregon’s most expensive housing markets.Mr. Lanter’s house could easily fit on a flatbed truc...
Money in College Savings Accounts Can Now Go Toward Retirement
Business

Money in College Savings Accounts Can Now Go Toward Retirement

Starting this year, some of the money in 529 college savings accounts can be used for retirement if it’s not needed for education.New rules under the federal law known as Secure 2.0 allow up to $35,000 in a 529 account to be rolled over to a Roth individual retirement account for the beneficiary of the 529 account if certain conditions are met.State-sponsored 529 accounts, named for a section of the tax code, are used to pay for education expenses — mainly college costs. Money deposited in the accounts grows tax free and can be withdrawn tax free to pay for eligible expenses like tuition, housing, food and books.The new Roth option is aimed at parents who may be reluctant to save in a 529 because they worry about having to pay income taxes and a penalty if for some reason the funds aren’t ...
Three Lessons From a Surprisingly Resilient Job Market
Business

Three Lessons From a Surprisingly Resilient Job Market

The pandemic created an economic crisis unlike any recession on record. So perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that the aftermath, too, has played out in a way that almost no economists expected.When unemployment soared in the first weeks of the pandemic, many feared a repeat of the long, slow rebound from the Great Recession: years of joblessness that left many workers permanently scarred. Instead, the recovery in the labor market has been, by many measures, the strongest on record.In early 2021, some economists foresaw a surge in inflation. Others were skeptical: Similar predictions in recent years — in some cases from the same forecasters — had failed to come true. This time, however, they were right.And when the Federal Reserve began trying to tamp down inflation, there were warnings th...
Bob Edwards, Longtime Host of NPR’s ‘Morning Edition,’ Dies at 76
Business

Bob Edwards, Longtime Host of NPR’s ‘Morning Edition,’ Dies at 76

Bob Edwards, the host of NPR’s “Morning Edition” for nearly a quarter-century, whose rich baritone and cool demeanor imbued his radio broadcasts with authority in reaching millions of listeners, died on Saturday in Arlington, Va. He was 76.His death, at a rehabilitation facility, was from heart failure and complications of bladder cancer, his wife, Windsor Johnston, said.Mr. Edwards, a Kentucky native who knew from an early age that he wanted to be in radio, joined NPR in 1974, during the Watergate hearings. That year, he became a co-host of “All Things Considered,’’ the public broadcaster’s signature evening newsmagazine of interviews, analysis and features. Its success led to the spinoff “Morning Edition” in 1979.Mr. Edwards began as a 30-day temporary host of that program before going o...
Pro Sports in Las Vegas Aren’t Cheered by Everyone
Business

Pro Sports in Las Vegas Aren’t Cheered by Everyone

The history of Las Vegas has been marked by a relentless churn of hotels, casinos, theaters and restaurants. But only recently has the city’s landscape included major professional sports teams.The Golden Knights of the National Hockey League were the first to start play here in 2017. The Aces of the Women’s National Basketball Association started in 2018, and the National Football League’s Raiders arrived from Oakland in 2020. Last year, Major League Baseball’s Athletics were given the go-ahead to make the same Oakland-to-Las Vegas move, and the National Basketball Association is expected to add a team in the coming years.Las Vegas’s transformation into a pro sports town reflects not just the leagues’ interest in the city and their general embrace of sports betting, but also the power of t...
Why Are Americans Wary While the Economy Is Healthy? Look at Nevada.
Business

Why Are Americans Wary While the Economy Is Healthy? Look at Nevada.

Toni Irizarry recognizes that the economy has improved. Compared with the first wave of the pandemic, when Las Vegas went dark, and joblessness soared to levels not seen since the Great Depression, these are days of relative normalcy.Ms. Irizarry, 64, oversees a cafe at the Orleans Hotel and Casino, a property just off the Las Vegas Strip that caters mostly to locals. Guests have returned, filling the blackjack and roulette tables amid the cacophony of jingling slot machines — the sound of money.She started in the hospitality industry busing tables when she was only 16. Her paychecks have allowed her to purchase a home, raise three children and buy each of them their first car. But as she contemplates the future, she cannot shake a sense of foreboding.The outlook of people like Ms. Irizarr...
Adam Neumann Wants to Take Over WeWork
Business

Adam Neumann Wants to Take Over WeWork

WeWork’s founder is trying to buy it Adam Neumann shot to fame by turning WeWork into a cultural and business phenomenon, before being ousted from the work space operator in dramatic fashion.But for the past several months, he has been trying to buy the now-bankrupt business — with the help of the hedge fund mogul Dan Loeb, DealBook is the first to report.Neumann’s new real estate company Flow Global is pushing WeWork to consider its takeover approach, according to a letter his lawyers sent to WeWork’s advisers on Monday. Flow which has already raised $350 million from the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, disclosed in the letter that Loeb’s Third Point would help finance a transaction. (Read the letter.)Flow has sought to buy WeWork or its assets, as well as provide bankruptcy fin...